Targeted Test Prep with Kiddom

Targeted Test Prep with Kiddom

Use Library’s engaging resources to help your students study

With state exams, midterms, and finals around the corner in the United States, many teachers are focusing on preparing their students for the bubble sheets and answer booklets ahead. We’re all too familiar with the standard review packets, full of busy work, but seldom do those prioritize student needs. Where are they at now, and where can they do better?

Personalizing and differentiating review material can be a daunting task, especially if your resources are scattered and/or don’t meet students’ learning styles.

In an ideal world, teachers would be able to pinpoint the exact needs of a student and quickly share materials to meet those skill gaps. With Kiddom, this is a reality: spend less time reinventing the wheel and more time directly supporting student needs.

Know exactly where your students are

Prioritizing learning targets is half the battle, and that’s where we come in. Kiddom’s standard mastery reports allow teachers to efficiently investigate progress already made on specific standards/skills and quickly act on it. View your class’s progress towards a specific standard or skill so far, and plan to remediate.

Need an even closer look? No problem! Click on each standard to view which students need the most attention, and which ones are ready to move on. Kiddom lets you add as many standards to assignments as you want, so you never lose track of the skills associated to your assignments.

All the resources you need, a search away

Kiddom teachers can use our Library to find and assign free resources, including videos, quizzes, practice activities, and more, based on the data from your standard mastery reports. We understand it can be time consuming to select resources, so we’ve made our search options as specific or broad as you would like them to be across grade level, subject area, or media type. Need resources that are standards-aligned? No problem. Kiddom’s Library allows you to search by specific standards, and your mastery reports connect you directly to the appropriate resources.

Find exactly what you need by easily previewing the resource before you assign it. Assignments may already have standards aligned based on the standard group you are using, but you can always add your own.

All of your materials, in one place

Chances are, you’ve collected a lot of materials for the topics you Don’t worry: you’re covered there too. Kiddom’s Playlist functionality allows you to group resources into one contained playlist, so your resources aren’t scattered everywhere. Think of it as Pinterest specifically for your classroom. Since your Playlists are housed in your Planner, you can choose when to assign them, and who to assign them to. Simply click to expand the playlist, and drag and drop the assignment into Timeline to assign to everyone, or click a student beforehand to assign to only them.

Kiddom allows you to create as many playlists as you want, so the possibilities are endless for thematic, skill-based, or topical groupings. Create a playlist dedicated to enrichment resources and another for remediation, or create one based on topic and subject. Whatever organizational method works for you, Kiddom works with you to house all of your resources and ensure your students get exactly what they need. Need to organize multiple resources for students to review for a test? Create a playlist to group them all together, and simply drag and drop it over to a student’s timeline to send it. You can create multiple playlists to address specific needs for students for test prep: use your reports to see where students need help, and create a playlist with content just to address those needs. Your students will appreciate the personalized resources, since now they’re reviewing what they need to review, and not going through things they already know. Students and teachers alike can agree: “busy work” is necessary.

Get Started

Gone are the days of the dreaded review packet, and long waits at the copier. Besides, cookie-cutter packets can be impersonal and can feel unimportant to a student: it’s just busy work and taking away from skills they should be focusing on. We hope you use our Library and Playlists to create engaging assignments, boosting student morale and skills in the process.

What are you waiting for? Explore Kiddom’s Library. And have fun!

https://upscri.be/17b283/


By: Shabbir Manjee, Support Analyst

Don’t have an account? No problem, sign up for free here. Take advantage of Kiddom’s free support resources. Or book a one-on-one demo.

Want to dive right in? Click here to access a demo class!

Flexible Assignments That Tell a Rich Story

Flexible Assignments That Tell a Rich Story

Trace a student’s journey to mastery with this new feature

Educators in our pilot schools and districts have been using Kiddom this school year to create self-paced curriculum and personalized assignments. Their work is shifting towards student-centered, authentic projects and away from teacher-driven assignments with only one right answer.

This shift provides options for demonstrating mastery in both the processes students use and the artifacts they create. To support our pilot schools’ desires to build student ownership, we’ve expanded the ways teachers can send assignments and students can send evidence of demonstrating mastery.

Students can send multiple attachments to teachers, allowing for multiple attempts on a single assignment

Now, each assignment created by a teacher can have multiple attachments from their computer, Google Drive, or Kiddom’s content library.

Students benefit too — they can send teachers more than one attachment per assignment, allowing them to do more complex and rigorous work in a streamlined way.

How do multiple attachments support teaching and learning?

  • Choice: Provide students with choice by sending multiple attachments as a set of options to choose from. An English teacher might attach multiple readings to choose at the same Lexile level.
  • Modality: Help every student gain an understanding of the learning material by attaching a video, an audio file, and a reading to meet their needs.
  • Process: Let students share several drafts of a project within a single assignment, or offer checklists and graphic organizers in the same assignment as the final project.
Teachers: supplement an attachment of your own with a curriculum resource from our Library

Students will now be able to:

  • Attach multiple attachments before submitting an assignment
  • Access and attach items from Google Drive
  • Make multiple submissions over time on a single assignment

Teachers will be able to:

  • Send multiple attachments from a single assignment
  • Attach more than one curriculum resource from Library
  • Send more than one Google Drive attachment
  • Attach any combination of files (PDFs, screenshots, images, etc.)

We’d like to thank our pilot school communities for helping us understand why allowing for multiple attachments is critical for classrooms focused on promoting student choice and voice. We’re excited to learn how you’ll use this new functionality in your quest to unlock potential for all students.

https://upscri.be/17b283/


By: Melissa Giroux, School Success Lead

P.S. If this is your first time hearing about our pilot program for schools and districts, click here to learn more. We do have some availability for learning communities interested in implementation spring 2018.

Playlists: A New Resource for Curriculum Development

Playlists: A New Resource for Curriculum Development

Well-designed and differentiated curriculum allows students to more meaningfully connect with content, but designing it can be cumbersome. That’s why at Kiddom, we’re excited to give teachers a sneak peek at what we’ve been working on: curated playlists.

Playlists: group together resources (like videos, readings, and quizzes) on the same topic and assign when ready.

Why curate playlists?

One of the hardest things about planning a blended learning class is finding the right instructional materials. As teachers, we develop and own our teaching style. It’s hard to give up your “teacher identity” by accepting videos or resources created by someone else. Some teachers (admittedly, like us) have spent countless hours recording and editing themselves. While that may feel truer to your teaching practice, it’s difficult to sustain given the time (and resource) constraints of school. The alternative, finding the right resource aligned to your students’ needs, can be equally time consuming. We can’t tell you how many hours of educational videos and songs we’ve watched to find the best fit for our classes.

So why bother if it’s so difficult? Well, one generalized lesson per day to address the “average” student doesn’t do enough to meet the diverse needs of every student in the classroom. It’s also difficult to support soft skills like self-management and curiosity when you’re teaching one lesson to the entire class. This is why we’re thoughtfully curating curriculum resources for you. We encourage you to be familiar with the resources we’ve gathered, but we hope to earn your trust in the quality resources we pulled together to meet your students’ unique needs. We’re dedicated to helping you find more time to connect with and inspire students.

Curated playlists for math

Curated playlists for English

To get all of our curated playlists, click here. Then copy and paste the assignments directly into Kiddom’s Planner.

How do we evaluate our playlists?

Our playlists are peer-reviewed and checked for rigor, flow, and alignment.

  • FLOW: How well do the topics move from one lesson to the next?
  • RIGOR: Are the tasks at an appropriate grade level to be accessible and still provide a challenge. Do the tasks require conceptual understanding and application of content?
  • STANDARDS ALIGNMENT: Are the assessments and standards clearly aligned? Does the content align to multiple standards? How well does the content span across grade levels and across content?

How do we select resources?

Each group of resources, which we’re calling a playlist, is thoughtfully curated to include the best options for learning and practicing a new skill. When selecting resources for playlists, we’re looking for content that meets the criteria for Universal Design for Learning (UDL), “a framework to improve and optimize teaching and learning for all people based on scientific insights into how humans learn.” We look for lessons that provide multiple means of representation such as audio, visual, and text support. We seek activities to practice those skills that provide multiple means of engagement by optimizing relevance through real life application. Finally, we designed culminating assessments to support planning and strategy development, optimize individual choice and autonomy, use multiple media for communication, and develop self-assessment and reflection.

As a free platform, we first seek the best free resources so that they’re universally accessible. But we also incorporate resources from providers based on teacher request. We also include resources that have limited free practices or a free trial version.

Create your own playlist:

We’d love your feedback on this month’s featured playlists. Are they useful? Are they effective? How would you use them?

We’re looking forward to your feedback.

https://upscri.be/17b283/

By: Liz Engellenner and Jessica Hunsinger, Curriculum Specialists

Say Hello to the New Student Experience

Say Hello to the New Student Experience

Today, we released a redesigned student experience on Kiddom to help 21st century learners access and submit work, track their own progress, and solicit feedback from teachers in real-time, from one place.

Over the past century, education technology has often left students out of the equation. That’s unfortunate, because students today move fast and are incredibly tech-savvy. At Kiddom, we believe students shouldn’t have to wait until progress reports are printed to learn where they stand in class or on specific skills. Students shouldn’t have to wait to see their teachers in person to pose clarifying questions or solicit feedback on an assignment. And from what we’ve gathered, teachers are constantly looking for ways to empower students to take control of their learning. With our redesigned student experience, the possibilities of student ownership are endless.

Timeline — Everything in One Place

For students that struggle to keep track of everything and never use paper planners — we heard you loud and clear.

When students login and click into their class, they’ll be greeted by their Timeline. Timeline allows students to view assignments (past, present, and upcoming) from one place. This not only includes teacher-created assignments, but also all the Khan Academy videos, CK-12 exercises, CommonLit readings, and other resources their teacher might’ve assigned for differentiation purposes via Kiddom’s Library of resources.

Submitting Work and Soliciting Feedback Made Easy

Teachers and learners can now actively communicate on their work in real-time. Sounds lovely.

When students click on an assignment from their Timeline, they’ll be able to see any instructions or attachments their teacher may have included, as well as the standards or skills has appended to the assignment. Students may upload and submit their own work and also engage in a discussion with their teacher regarding the assignment.

Reports — Monitor Progress and Self-Advocate

If students have real-time access to their achievement data, is it time to rethink report card day? We hope so.

When students can actively monitor their progress in class, they’re more likely to advocate for themselves. With our redesigned Reports, students can track their overall class progress, as well as progress on individual standards and skills — all in real-time. This means they finally have the data they need, when they need it.

We’re Just Getting Started

The new student experience has been long overdue. And while we’re incredibly excited about the positive impact it will make in classrooms around the world, there’s still a lot more work to be done. Over the next several months and into the next school year, we’re going to focus on adding community features to accelerate our vision of building a collaborative education platform. In the meantime, let us know what you think of the new student experience with a comment or chat with us directly using the in-app chat tool. Happy teaching and learning!

https://upscri.be/17b283/


By: Abbas Manjee, Chief Academic Officer

Editor’s note: We’re still testing the new Kiddom student experience. If your students signed up before Friday, April 21, 2017, they may not experience the new Kiddom just yet. We plan to conclude testing on Friday, April 28, 2017, at which time all students will be on the redesigned student experience. For more information, contact our support team.

“Can Hip Hop Save Us?” Hosted by Fresh Ed’s James Miles

“Can Hip Hop Save Us?” Hosted by Fresh Ed’s James Miles

“Hip-hop is one of the most powerful forces…It’s a culture that connects people from any race, school of thought, creed, religion, or color; a global phenomenon that exists in the United States, started in South Bronx and exists in crevices of the world.”
— John Robinson, rapper, producer and educator

 

 

We’re all accustomed to the same hip-hop songs on the radio. Based on popular belief, hip-hop drums up mainstream music and themes of sexism or misogyny, but contrary to common misconceptions, hip-hop is much more than that and can be used as a learning tool to effectively improve student outcomes and overall learning experiences in the classroom.

At this year’s SXSWedu conference in Austin, Urban Arts Partnership’s James Miles, Fresh Ed program director and NYU professor, led a discussion about how hip-hop can be integrated into classrooms and serve as a powerful teaching method for educators who want to reach their students in a meaningful way. Joining Miles in this panel discussion were Audra The Rapper, Hudson County, New Jersey Teacher and Author Brian Mooney, and Rapper, Producer and Educator John Robinson who confronted the ways in which hip-hop can make a difference in and out of the classroom.

THE HISTORY OF HIP HOP

“Hip-hop isn’t just mainstream radio. It’s a rich culture that includes the four elements of emceeing, graffiti, DJing and bboying (or breakdancing) and it started in the South Bronx as a willed response to systematic violence,” said teacher and author Brian Mooney.

HIP HOP AS A LEARNING TOOL

Those four elements can be used in the classroom as a multi-modal framework for teaching and learning. Mooney is all too familiar with this framework because he incorporates hip-hop into his own classroom in Hudson County, New Jersey. Touching on his experiences, Mooney explained how elements of hip-hop can be both relevant and engaging for in-class learning.

  • Graffiti relates to the arts and spatial thinking.
  • DJing ties into technological literacies.
  • Emceeing and Spoken Word are lyrical and verbal.
  • Bboying (also known as breaking or breakdancing) connects to kinesthetic learning.

Beyond the direct connection teachers can make between the four elements of hip-hop and class lessons, James Miles detailed one way he has incorporated the trajectory of a hip-hop artist — a topic students can relate to — to engage them and help them retain information on a topic they’re not too familiar with:

“We wrote a lesson about ancient Rome and we used Iggy Azalea as our visual inquiry. We used the rise and fall of Iggy Azalea and compared it to the hubris of Rome. That’s how teachers can use hip-hop in a lesson.”

Hip-hop is also about knowledge of self and knowing where you came from — relevant for social-emotional learning in school — and the panelists raised the issue that students learn in a Euro-centric curriculum that focuses on the history of White culture, but never learn about the history of their own block or community. “Hip-hop allows us to look at those things — communities, groups — that have been marginalized and silenced for too long,” Mooney noted.

In using hip-hop, students are able to identify with the founding members who look like them or have experienced a similar upbringing. Now, the panelists explain, the student least likely to participate and engage is now in the forefront of the conversation because of the culturally responsive teaching method being used in class.

“Without that, an entire group of students are left out. We have to change that,” John Robinson said.

Fresh Ed, a program within a larger initiative at UAP called Fresh Education, is helping to make that change by serving middle school students and training classroom teachers in their pedagogy. Fresh Prep, its sister program, serves high school students taking the ELA, Global History, and U.S. History Regents exams. Both programs are proving how powerful hip-hop can be as a learning tool.

According to Fresh Ed Director James Miles, New York City’s current student pass rate for the Global History Regents Exam is 45 percent while students who have Fresh Education and learn through hip-hop have a pass rate of 61 percent.

CRITICAL CONSCIOUSNESS

However, the panelists note that just because something is expressed through rap or a form of hip-hop does not mean it’s educationally valuable or good. Mooney explains that in many ways teachers are responsible for the literacy development of kids, but it’s not enough to simply present a form of hip-hop and consider it a lesson.

Teachers must understand the medium through which the piece of content — a play, a book, a movie — is expressed and delve into the themes such as immigration or political activism and confront why the piece is being expressed in a certain way; is it because of racial tensions? If so, why? Why are all of the characters only people of color? What is the historical context to all of it? Who is the intended audience?

Those questions spark larger, meaningful conversations that will improve students’ critical consciousness and media literacy. The goal in doing this is to help students move out into the world and look at everything more critically and see systems, subcultures and imagery around them and understand the who, what, where, when, why of it all. Hip-hop questions the norm.

Audra the Rapper agrees. “Hip-hop is more than a musical genre; it’s a lifestyle, it’s a culture. You can’t walk outside and not interact with something encouraged through hip-hop.” The panelists urged teachers to be inspired by this and introduce it into their curriculum because hip-hop is part of youth culture today.

Lastly, hip-hop, like life, is full of contradictions. Learning is indeed a complicated, ambiguous process with no clear cut rules or approach. While much of mainstream hip-hop has themes of homophobia, sexism and misogyny, it isn’t hip-hop that created any of it — hip-hop is simply a reflection of the current culture. Football, movies, and other pop culture favorites also have negative aspects. The panelists express the importance of allowing students to critique systems of oppression that permeate the world by listening to what’s on the radio too.

“We as educators have to have the moral and intellectual courage to ask questions about why it is how it is,” Mooney says, and then have the courage to do it.

Written By: Kelly Fong, writer and editor for USC Rossier School of Education. Kelly has more than eight years of experience in journalism and is currently earning her MS in Communications at Syracuse University. Follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.

Urban Arts Partnership’s (UAP) mission is to close the achievement gap through arts-integrated education programs deployed as targeted academic interventions. Founded in 1991, UAP has established itself as New York’s largest and fastest growing arts education organization; this year alone we directly serve over 100 schools, 15,000 students, and 500 teachers. From using Hip-Hop to help students prepare for the Regents exam, to leveraging the art of storytelling as an ELL tool, to reinforcing socialization skills in students with special needs using the fine arts, UAP’s programs unite the arts and academics to give students an opportunity to succeed and definitively break the cycle of poverty.

In March of 2016, UAP went to SXSWedu, in Austin, TX to launch the expansion of the Fresh Ed program, including its curricula, original music, and blended learning tools. The small team of UAP artists and educators were immediately met with overwhelmingly positive response and interest. It’s clear that classrooms and educators from all over the WORLD are ready and willing to incorporate this culturally responsive (and enjoyable) approach to teaching and learning. Check out all of the responses on social media from our time presenting and showcasing at SXSWedu.

Urban Arts Partnership will continue these conversations on our culturally responsive approach to education in NYC on April 27th, where you can attend the New York Arts in Education Roundtable’s Face to Face Conference. We will be facilitating a workshop called, “Gotta Stay Fresh,” in which the participants will be able to make their own Fresh Ed Lesson Plan for any academic subject.

https://upscri.be/17b283/


Originally published at Teacher Voice.

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